The CEO of the medic company hired by Astroworld organizers told reporters Monday on what his team of 70 had to go through on the day of the ill-fated concert and how they had to face an “impossible feat” of treating 11 people with cardiac arrests at the same time.
“This is something I’ll have nightmares about for the rest of my life,” Pollak said. “The team is extremely broken up about it. Seeing so many young people getting CPR at one time, it’s just something no one should have to go through. Even though we’re medical professionals, we should be used it. You can’t get used to something like that.”
Pollak said that 11 concert-goers were suffering from cardiac arrests at the same time when there was a crowd surge. During these critical times of sudden mass movements, his team is typically advised to stay back to prevent injury to the medics. But the ParaDocs personnel continued to go back and save lives.
When major events happen, companies like ParaDocs are hired so that local first responders can continue to cater to their community. There were almost 20,000 more people than the 50,000 initially expected at Astroworld, according to Pollak. However, he said that the company was well equipped and had enough personnel, at a ratio of 1:1,000, which is the typical number for these types of events.
Houston officials recently claimed that ParaDocs’ staff gave out cell phone numbers when firefighters requested radio communications. Pollak, who was present at the venue, maintains that his employees did use radios that were provided but there was a drop in communication among other things that went wrong during the concert.
When his staff performed emergency CPR on the back of carts, concert-goers would jump on top, pulling the medics off the injured. “They thought it was a joke,” Pollak said. “We never came close to running out of equipment and supplies. We could have treated at least double the amount of patients. We never expected in our lives to encounter a situation like that. It was absolutely horrific.”
Pollak believes that the concert should have been stopped earlier but that abrupt conclusions would have caused riots and worsened the situation. Until now, 10 Astroworld attendees, including three children, have died.
Nike Postpones Launch
Meanwhile, Nike has postponed the release of the Travis Scott’s Air Max 1 X Cactus Jack shoe in the wake of the incident.
“Out of respect for everyone impacted by the tragic events at the Astroworld Festival, we are postponing the launch of the Air Max 1 x Cactus Jack,” the company said in an online statement.
Nike’s statement comes amid more than a dozen lawsuits against Scott and Astroworld organizers.
“We are sickened by the devastating tragedy that took place on Friday night. Travis Scott has a history of inciting violence and creating dangerous conditions for concertgoers,” Kherkher Garcia LLP, attorneys representing Manuel Souza, a concert-goer who was injured, said in a statement.
“So many people were hurt, and so few emergency personnel were provided by defendants, that patrons themselves had to conduct CPR on their fellow concertgoers,” according to the suit. “Yet defendants made the conscious decision to let the show go on, despite the extreme risk of harm to concertgoers that was escalating by the moment.”
Instagram influencer Kylie Jenner, who is pregnant with her second child with Scott, was criticized online after she posted images of the concert with an ambulance in the background.
“I want to make it clear we weren’t aware of any fatalities until the news came out after the show and in no world would have continued filming or performing,” she wrote early Sunday on Instagram.
Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, a representative for Travis Scott, on Nov. 12 released a statement that the rapper was not responsible for the incident.
“I mean this notion that Travis had the ability to stop the concert is ludicrous … only two people that have the authority to stop the concert were the executive producer and the concert producer,” she said in the statement.
Police have begun a criminal probe into what happened at the festival that night.